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War, Inc.

War, Inc.

Director:Joshua Seftel
Cast:John Cusack, Joan Cusack, Marisa Tomei, Hilary Duff, Ben Kingsley
Release Date:2008

By Steve Erickson | Posted 7/9/2008

Co-writer/co-producer John Cusack plays Hauser, a hit man employed by Haliburton stand-in Tamerlane, which is overseeing the U.S. occupation of Turaqistan. Its CEO (Dan Aykroyd, imitating Dick Cheney) orders Hauser to kill oil minister Omar Sharif (Lyubomir Neikov). Despite misgivings about his line of work, Hauser is sent to Turaqistan with the cover mission of overseeing a trade show that culminates in the wedding of sexy Turaqi singer Yonica Babyyeah (Hilary Duff). He also meets a liberal reporter (Marisa Tomei), to whom he becomes attracted despite her politics. Like Catch-22 and Thomas Pynchon's novels, War, Inc. is filled with silly names. Unlike them, its comic vision is puddle-deep, full of random pop-culture references that lead nowhere. And it veers from dark comedy to actually caring about its characters; unfortunately, most of them are walking cartoons. One might expect a nuanced vision of the Middle East from an overtly liberal movie, but War, Inc. is no less insulting toward Arabs than the Hollywood norm. Ultimately, and despite its good intentions, War, Inc. bears the marks of a vanity project.

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